Mitchell Johnson - Baseball's loss and cricket's gain

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Sydney, July 4 (ANI): If Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson was not spearheading Australia's pace attack, possibilities would have been high that he could have been a pitcher in any major baseball league.

Australian fielding coach and acclaimed baseball mentor Mike Young believes that Johnson had the potential to enjoy an even more successful career as a baseball player.

Young said that Johnson's natural capacity to hurl in the high 150km/h range and a strong left arm could have guaranteed him a professional contract, the Herald Sun reports.

According to Young, he had offered the injury-plagued Johnson a chance, at a point of time when he was 21 years old and was in danger of being cut from Queensland's contract list.

"I said, 'Look, it's not my job to do this, although I work for you (Queensland), but I'm telling you now, if you release this kid I believe it will massively come back to haunt you. This is the best athlete I've seen in cricket to date," Young said.

"I said, 'If that happens and he doesn't get picked up by some other state, I will immediately make a phone call because this kid can not get lost. He would have got a large amount of money to sign for professional baseball," he added.

Queensland had dumped Johnson from its list after the 2002-03 season, but kept a close eye on his recovery and monitored his return after a year without bowling. (ANI)

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